Related Insights

Section 702: What It Is & How It Works

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is a statute that authorizes the collection, use, and dissemination of electronic communications content stored by U.S. internet service providers (such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft) or traveling across the internet’s “backbone” (with the compelled assistance of U.S. telecom providers such as AT&T and Verizon). Section 702 sunsets on December 31, 2017.

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Coalition Letter Supporting Email Privacy Act in 115th Congress

A coalition of civil society organizations, companies, and trade associations, wrote a letter to the House Judiciary Committee to express our support for the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 387). The Act updates the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), the law that sets standards for government access to private internet communications, to reflect internet users’ reasonable expectations of privacy with respect to emails, texts, notes, photos, and other sensitive information stored in the cloud.

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Amicus Brief Challenging 381 Overly Broad Warrants Issued to Facebook

We submitted an amicus brief along with the NYCLU, the ACLU, and the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to the Court of Appeals of the State of New York in regards to 381 search warrants directed to Facebook in 2013, arguing that Facebook has the right to challenge the warrants on behalf of its users, and to notify its users that the government was seeking the contents of their accounts.

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Amicus Brief, Ferrer v. Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

Section 230 of the Communications Act enables individual speakers to identify online services that will host their own First Amendment-protected speech. The Subcommittee’s invasive, burdensome inquiry into Backpage.com’s editorial practices creates an intense chilling effect, not only for Backpage but for any website operator seeking to define their own editorial viewpoint and moderation procedures for the third-party content that they host.

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Comments to the NHTSA on Federal Automated Vehicles Policy (November 22)

CDT recognizes the tremendous societal benefits that may be derived from autonomous technologies, and we encourage NHTSA to further explore the privacy and cybersecurity impacts of AVs. Specifically, these comments focus on the Federal Automated Vehicles Policy’s Cross-Cutting Guidance with respect to: (1) data sharing; (2) privacy; (3) cybersecurity; and (4) consumer education and training.

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Coalition Calls on President Obama to Bolster Civil Liberties and Government Transparency

CDT signed onto a coalition letter with open government, privacy, and civil liberties advocates urging President Obama to take swift action before he leaves office to bolster civil liberties protections, primarily through added government transparency. For instance, the letter calls for the Justice Department to summarize for the public key Office of Legal Counsel opinions dealing with national security and civil liberties, and to publicly release foreign intelligence court decisions and inspector general reports.

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Coalition Strongly Supports Review The Rule Act

CDT signed onto a coalition letter with more than 20 civil liberties and privacy advocates, and companies, urging Congress to delay implementation of Rule 41. The coalition noted that “government hacking . . . can be much more privacy invasive than traditional searches” and suggested swift passage of Sen. Coons’s bill.

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CDT's Priorities for the New Administration

At the Center for Democracy & Technology, we believe that there are core beliefs that unite every American. Our policy recommendations for the nation’s 45th president are moderate, pragmatic proposals aimed at charting a forward-looking course that protects our individual rights, keeps the country secure, and enables further innovation in our hyper-connected reality.

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